I’m not surprised that Nate Robertson’s popularity has overtaken that of Todd Jones. But perhaps I’m a little startled that anyone can tell them apart. From the Detroit News’ Ted Kuflan (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
What started as a little fun during a television broadcast Tuesday night, with repeated shots of Robertson jamming wads of gum into his mouth in hopes of spurring a Tigers rally, has taken on a life of its own.
Signs have popped up at Comerica Park for the Rally Chew. Fans have been spotted stuffing themselves with Big League Chew, just like Robertson, in hopes of igniting the Tigers offense.
“As long as fans are having fun with it and enjoying themselves, that’s the big thing,” said Robertson, who has never really been a big gum chewer.
“Not really,” Robertson said. “Not since I was a kid and Big League Chew was 50 cents a pack.”
It all started when Robertson wore a microphone for FSN Detroit’s broadcast of Tuesday’s game against the Yankees.
The Yankees took an early lead, and the Tigers weren’t getting anything going offensively, so Robertson decided it was time to do something about it.
So, he stuck a bunch of gum in his mouth. So much gum, that he could barely talk.
“I had to give them something,” said Robertson of the television audience.
Lo and behold, the Tigers scored their first run of the game on Pudge Rodriguez’s homer.
Then, two innings later, Robertson did it again. The Tigers scored three more runs.
Later in the game, it worked again.
“Every time I would do it, something positive would happen,” said Robertson, who says he’s normally not superstitious.